The Brookfield East boys basketball team never got over the hump this season, and as a result, the Spartans finished with a deceiving 4-20 record, including an 0-14 mark in the Greater Metro Conference.
Take a closer look at the numbers, and you can see how coach Matt Malett's team could have had a much better record.
First of all, the Spartans lost three games in overtime.
Second, they lost seven games by 6 points or less by a total of 28 points.
Third, they lost 13 games by 10 points or less.
'We had a tough year wins- and losses-wise,' Malett said. 'But we ended the year with a playoff win (75-66) over Milwaukee Pulaski, which was the first playoff win since 2009.'
The Spartans got off to a 2-6 start and never really recovered. From Jan. 18 to Feb. 5, East went winless in eight games to drop to 2-14 while seeing the season go down the tube. They ended the regular season with a 1-5 mark to go 3-19 overall.
In the postseason, they defeated Pulaski and then lost to No. 3-ranked Racine Park in the regional semifinal, 58-48.
'We always competed in games, and our guys never quit,' Malett said. 'The boys represented Brookfield East well, and I enjoyed coming to practice each day, coaching hard workers who stayed together, positive and resilient.
'Youth/inexperience and depth was a major issue this year. We only had three seniors, and it made for a situation where we had little margin for error every game.'
Dominic Cartier earned the Team MVP award, the Spartan Basketball Player award and the Toughness Award.
The other award that was handed out was the Most Improved Player Award, which went to Nick Tennessen.
East also had three players earn four GMC awards.
Jake Graf earned second-team all-conference honors, and Cartier and Alex Plavsic earned honorable mention. Plavsic was also an all-GMC scholar-athlete.
Although Malett loses three seniors, 10 juniors and a sophomore return. Graf, Tennessen, Sam Gauger, Nick Jay Van Ert, Nick Kreul, Joe Serbiak, Andy Lucas, Ben Baker, Raejion Rembert and Aaron Keech are returning juniors, and Patrick Carter is a returning sophomore.
'We should have a nice season next year as we have three starters and several key reserves returning,' Malett pointed out. 'Both our JV and frosh team had winning seasons, so I'm looking forward to the future.'